Clive

Flash Fiction Challenge 100 – Day 51

Photo by Maxim Potkin on Unsplash

The man in black slips onto the street; he moves like a shadow in the dark. A light rain falls, and incredibly Clive uses the gentle sounds it makes to mask his every step. His is a profession of intense discipline, caution, and structure. If he makes a mistake, they might catch him. His life would be over.

He moves in and out of the shadows along the street edge. The first houses in the neighborhood are smaller and closer together. His destination is the large house that sits at the end of the no outlet street, the home with a pond, a dock, and a vast array of water toys.

Usually, Clive only works when someone has contracted his services. But tonight’s job he is doing for himself. Tonight’s work is personal.

While it’s clear from the larger than average lot size, the occupants have money; everyone in the neighborhood would be surprised if they learned Henry was a billionaire who had built an empire around importing and distributing illegal drugs from South America.

Henry’s organization is enormous.

The man in black steps from the shadows reenters the street.

A light goes on in a window of the house he is passing. He freezes instantly. There are no streetlights on this street. There is no moon, and Clive is dressed entirely in black. There’s no way anyone in the house can sense his presence there. Clive isn’t worried; he is alert but not fearful. He slowly moves his head to investigate the light.

It’s streaming from a smaller window located halfway between the front door, which sits on the far left side of the house, and a larger window. The smaller window is obviously a bathroom.

Someone had got up to use the restroom, only this and nothing more.

Clive goes as still as a marble statue.

After two minutes, the bathroom light goes off. At no point is there even the slightest disturbance in the curtain. Clive has the discipline to abort tonight’s mission if he must. Clive has already aborted visiting Henry once.

‘This is for you, Dolly,’ Clive whispers to the rain.

A drunk driver, a henchman in Henry’s organization, had killed Dolly, Clive’s daughter. The man was arrested but released on bail. Some money changed hands, and they did not try the henchman for manslaughter. They filed some motions on behalf of the defense, and they dismissed the case on some infuriating technicality.

Clive exhales as he passes the last small house on the street. The last third of the road is essentially Henry’s driveway as he owns all the lots on both sides of the street. His minor mansion sits at the very end of the street. Henry is a man who values his space.

If the eight blades secreted about Clive’s body were exposed to the faintest ray of moonlight, no one would have any difficulty in deducing Clive’s occupation.

Clive just came from visiting the henchman who had driven the car that ended his daughter’s life. Sadly, the henchman’s heart wasn’t able to endure much attention from Clive’s knives.

Henry’s security system is state-of-the-art, but all such systems have loopholes – the biggest being the element of human greed. There are always ways to circumvent such systems, but Clive preferred the human penchant for avarice. He had found an employee at the alarm company, bribed him for the remote control which would disable Henry’s system. Of course, when Clive finishes with Henry in a few hours, he will then make his way to Frank’s house and clean up his mess before any detective can put one plus one together.

After tonight, Clive will be on a plane to a third-world country, one with no extradition policy. He will lie low for his customary four months before deciding his next move.

Clive stops at the gate to Henry’s house.

Moment of truth time. If the remote works, then Frank will get a quick death. If not, then all the hatred Clive feels for Henry will be transferred to Frank, and Clive will have to postpone tonight’s actions again.

He clicks the remote. The tiny status lights on the fence gate switch from red to green before the gate swings open silently.

As Clive steps onto the paved driveway, he gently touches each of his eight knives and hopes Henry’s heart is stronger than that of his henchman.

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